Why just light a room, when you can radically transform it? The lighting trends in this year's home tours had us thinking beyond the standard table lamp and predictable (though practical) recessed lightning. Such choices didn't do it for these residents and interior designers who opted for brilliant takes on the classics, while others discovered how an otherwise simple light could completely elevate a room when grouped in numbers. There were numerous light fixtures we coveted over the year, but these are the designs that had us in awe — whether illuminated or not.
1. Oversized without overwhelming.
This whole New York City apartment by Crosby Studios is a visual feast, but we were especially drawn to these Magnifier ceiling lights by Italian designers Andrea Trimarchi and Simone Farresin's Studio Forma Fantasma. We're accustomed to seeing circular lighting suspended horizontally, so it was a nice surprise to see how a vertical treatment works beautifully. (We'd love some earrings to match!)
2. The stripped-down chandelier.
A perfect example of when less is more, this single-tier chandelier by British-Canadian designer Philippine Malouin is featured in two rooms of this Brooklyn brownstone in Clinton Hill. Here it provides an elegant touch without distracting from the room's main attraction: the neighborhood street.
3. The pendant party.
At the same home, you'll also find how there's beauty in numbers in the dining room, by bringing together different pendant lights by Julia Jessen for Schneid to create a lighting display with pops of color. Try the same approach in your home by grouping pendants and even varying their lengths.
4. The double-arm sconce.
The midcentury-inspired sconce in the LA home of entrepreneur Chelsea Matthews had us swooning with its brass swing arms and black finish. The fixture offers versatility and some serious decor flair. To get the look, check out similar arm sconces at West Elm and AllModern.
5. Lighting racks.
In the budget kitchen makeover for their friends by Chris Loves Julia, designer Julia Marcum decided to forgo the commonplace island pendant and suspend a dramatic fixture from Rejuvenation that is anything but budget. The dynamic addition is an instant conversation piece we'd welcome having.
6. Wood for warmth.
In the Barcelona home of stylist Manuel Sosa, her most prized possession is this vintage Coderch lamp made of sheets of wood, designed in 1954 by the Catalan architect Jose Antonio Coderch. And we can see why. Having natural materials incorporated into a lamp can warm a space in more ways than one. Lumens has a nut pendant by Ray Power that can do the same in your home.
7. Woven with style.
This bamboo IKEA pendant designed by Ilse Crawford is one of many lattice lamps we saw over the year. You can't deny the attraction to something that is handmade, yet accessible. We appreciate it for its design as well as its cost, and it definitely gave this Scottsdale hotel room a more at-home quality.
8. Origami-inspired wonders.
We want to make every room in the Yucca Valley, California, desert cabin of Natalie Myers of Veneer Designs our own, especially the kitchen, where a large Orikata Saucer Pendant from Room & Board adds a boutique-hotel feel to the dining area. There's nothing like a large sculptural lamp to take a room to the next level.
9. Off-center installation.
In the tour of this Fort Greene, Brooklyn townhouse, shades of pink and red dominate, but it was their unconventional placement of a pair of Aquafresh wall sconces by Jason Miller Studio that had us blushing. We already saw how grouping individual fixtures together to great effect worked with pendants. But here, that technique combined with their off-center homes on the wall is a stroke of design brilliance. You can bet we will be trying this soon. Which lighting trends will you take into the new year?
Author and book editor Teena Apeles is a collector of vintage pieces and untold stories. She writes about art, culture, design, activism, and history, and edits books on an even wider range of subjects. She is the founder of the women-led creative collective Narrated Objects, which released the anthology Dear Seller: Real Estate Love Letters from Los Angeles, a unique exploration of the lives and homes of Angelenos, and We Heart L.A. Parks, an artful and education guide to the city that reminds us how safe and accessible public parks strengthen communities.